American, born 1956
Growing up, Alison Saar assisted her father with restoration work and came into contact with a variety of cultural artifacts. She links this early exposure to her use of reclaimed items, such as tin ceiling tiles, old linoleum, and used skillets, in her work. Reflecting her multicultural heritage, Saar models many of her subjects after African deities as a means to glorify and celebrate the black female body. In Bareroot a female figure lies on its side, knees pulled tightly to its chest and its feet melded into a series of meandering roots. The figure, who appears to have undergone a process of scarification, is clad with reclaimed ceiling tiles patinated with tar. While the roots imply a connection to the earth, they also suggest the figure has been ripped from the soil and rendered non-ambulatory by her uprootedness.
Label from One Another: Spiderlike, I Spin Mirrors, March 7–June 1, 2014